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Today's Headlines Monetary Policy

  • Manufacturing Expansion of Indonesia Slips due to Natural Disasters

    Manufacturing Expansion of Indonesia Slips due to Natural Disasters

    Indonesia's February 2014 HSBC manufacturing purchasing managers' index (PMI), which measures the performance of the country's manufacturing industry, slipped to 50.5 from 51.0 in the previous month, thus indicating slowing growth (a reading above 50 indicates expansion in manufacturing activity, while a reading below 50 indicates contraction). Despite continued strong export orders, domestic demand weakened amid massive floods and volcanic eruptions at the start of the year.

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  • Central Bank of Indonesia Maintains Benchmark Interest Rate at 7.50%

    Central Bank of Indonesia Maintains Benchmark Interest Rate at 7.50%

    The central bank of Indonesia (Bank Indonesia/BI) left its benchmark interest rate (BI rate) unchanged at 7.50 percent in the Board of Governor's Meeting on Thursday (13/02/14). This decision was in line with market expectations as several economic indicators have improved. In recent days, the rupiah exchange rate has shown a marked improvement to IDR 12,055 per US dollar (Bloomberg Dollar Index) as pressures on Indonesia's current account balance are easing and Bank Indonesia's foreign exchange reserves are rising.

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  • Use of Bitcoin as Payment Instrument Banned by Indonesia's Central Bank

    The use of bitcoin, the hotly debated digital currency that was launched in 2009, is banned by the central bank of Indonesia (Bank Indonesia). This week, Bank Indonesia released a press release in which it states that the bitcoin and other virtual currencies are not considered as currencies nor legal payment instruments in Indonesia. After China, Denmark and Russia, Indonesia has become the next country to ban the use of the bitcoin as it can jeopardize the country's financial stability according to the assessment of the bank.

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  • Bank Indonesia: Growth in Q4-2013 Improved and Became More Balanced

    The central bank of Indonesia (Bank Indonesia) stated that economic growth during the fourth quarter of 2013 was recorded at 5.72 percent (yoy), thus having increased compared to the previous quarter (5.63 percent, yoy), and which is also higher than Bank Indonesia's estimate (5.7 percent). With this development, the overall economic expansion in 2013 reached 5.78 percent. Bank Indonesia considers that the fundamental condition of Indonesia’s economy is still relatively robust.

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  • Manufacturing in Indonesia Expands Slightly in January on New Orders

    Manufacturing Growth in Indonesia Expands Slightly in January on New Orders

    Although China's HSBC Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) in January 2014 fell below the 50.0 mark thus indicating contracting manufacturing, other Asian countries, including Indonesia, posted expanding manufacturing. Indonesia's HSBC Manufacturing PMI read 51.0 in the first month of the year, its highest reading since June 2013 and up from 50.9 in December 2013. However, this limited expansion also raised concerns that the policy tightening of Indonesia's central bank (Bank Indonesia) has not been as effective as hoped for.

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  • World Bank: Indonesia Quarterly Report "Slower Growth; High Risks"

    The World Bank released the December edition of its Indonesia economic quarterly report. The title of the report “Slower Growth; High Risks” leaves little to the imagination. The World Bank expects Indonesia’s economic growth to slow to 5.3 percent in 2014 amid external shocks, most notably the Federal Reserve 'tapering'. The report states that “while policymakers in Indonesia have taken steps to encourage near-term macroeconomic stability, further structural reforms are needed to support export performance and encourage long-term faster growth.”

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  • IMF: Slowing Growth and Widening Macro-Imbalances in Indonesia

    IMF: Slowing Growth and Widening Macro-imbalances in Indonesia

    The International Monetary Fund (IMF) detects a slowdown in GDP growth in major emerging market economies and decline in commodity prices, and more recently, a reversal in push factors tied to a prospective exit from extraordinarily easy global monetary conditions, has put pressure on Indonesia’s balance of payments and heightened its vulnerability to shocks. Domestic policy accommodation and rising energy subsidies have also given rise to increased external and fiscal imbalances.

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  • New Economic Policy Package Will Be Released at the End of October

    The government of Indonesia will release a second economic policy package at the end of October. This new package, which aims to provide attractive tax incentives to investors, is in addition to the package that was released in August 2013 when sharp rupiah depreciation and a rapidly falling stock index occurred as panic emerged after the Federal Reserve hinted at an end to its quantitative easing program. In combination with a widening current account deficit and high inflation, it resulted in large capital outflows from Indonesia.

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  • Bank Indonesia and China Extend Bilateral Currency Swap Arrangement

    Bank Indonesia and China Extend Bilateral Currency Swap Arrangement

    Governor of Bank Indonesia, Agus Martowardojo and Governor of the People’s Bank of China, Zhou Xiaochuan, signed an extension to the Bilateral Currency Swap Arrangement (BCSA), representing a tangible manifestation of strong financial cooperation between both central banks in the areas of monetary policy and financial system stability. “The agreement reflects regional commitment in the face of global uncertainty and will contribute propitiously towards maintaining macroeconomic and domestic financial stability,” emphasized Martowardojo.

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  • Indonesian Government: Inflation Rises in 2013, but Eases in 2014

    The government of Indonesia expects inflation to rise to 7.2 percent in 2013 because of the increase in the price of subsidized fuel in June, and expects it to ease to 4 percent in both 2014 and 2015 provided that good monetary policy is implemented. This good monetary policy should particularly be targeted at maintaining food security. The projections were presented by the Fiscal Policy Agency (Badan Kebijakan Fiskal), the Ministry of Finance, and Indonesia's central bank Bank Indonesia.

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